Translators Sought

July 1, 2013

Fellow map enthusiasts, the Atlas of Design needs your help! We’re looking for volunteer translators to help take our project to the next level, putting it squarely in front of a global audience.

The 2012 edition of the Atlas of Design, our bold little experiment, has been a great success. Our initial print run sold out quickly, and we brought it back for a second printing by popular demand. Now, as the remaining copies of the second printing sell out, we are starting to turn our attention toward 2014, when we begin the cycle again. Another edition, with all new maps representing the latest and greatest cartographic work from around the world. This time, we want more emphasis on that last part: the world.

We want to get the word out beyond the English-speaking world for the 2014 edition. We want more submissions from more countries, and we want to truly represent the global cartographic scene. But we need your help to do that. The Atlas is put together primarily by a small group of English-speaking volunteers based in the United States. We don’t have the language skills to reach out beyond the Anglosphere. If you’re fluent in both English and another language, we ask you to consider helping spread our message around the world.

We’re looking for volunteers who would be willing to put in some time over the course of several months doing the following:

  • Translate the Call for Submissions into another language
  • Help us handle any non-English email traffic. This includes when people write to us with questions about how to submit, when we expect to print and sell the book, and other random inquiries. It may also include more extensive correspondence with someone who’s been accepted to the book but who does not speak English. In that case we’ll need to work with them to get their final artwork submitted, get their permission to publish it, finalize credits, and get them to write an essay on their work.
  • If a non-English-speaking creator’s work makes it into the final volume, translate their essay (~200-300 words) into English for the final publication.
  • Help us spread the word about the project in other languages — short blurbs we can Tweet, post to Facebook, etc.
  • Translate the sales site into another language

It’s difficult to predict the amount of work needed, since we’ve never done this before. This is a fairly small operation, though, and we’re not expecting that this is going to require a massive effort from our translators. We are not, at this time, planning on translating the entire final book into another language. We will continue to publish in English.

We’ve had a great response from a number of volunteers already, and we’ve presently got people to cover Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Bengali, Chinese, Romanian, French, German, Finnish, Japanese, Portuguese, Ukrainian, and Russian.

If you’d be willing to put in some volunteer time, beginning late this year and continuing through the fall of 2014, we’d love to hear from you. Please contact us atlasofdesign@gmail.com!